From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai
The Vision of God!
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – THIS SUNDAY!
This week our bible readings focus on the Transfiguration when Jesus was revealed in shining glory. What is our vision of Jesus like? A holy God, a close friend and brother, a distant figure of history? Our vision probably includes all three images and many more, and will vary over time, but how do we approach God, how do we relate to the divine?
Mark will be preaching again this Sunday, as we contemplate the holiness of God!
The readings for this Sunday will be Exodus 34:29-35, 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2, and Luke 9:28-43, and we will be singing the hymns Praise my Soul the King of Heaven, Transfiguration Hymn, You laid aside Your Majesty, and When we walk with the Lord!
Last week’s Service!
It was wonderful to have our choir, formed from some of the children of the Youth Charity Foundation, with us again last Sunday. You can watch last week’s sermon and hear the children sing during communion with this link!
We also had a very enjoyable potluck – thanks to all who made this possible!
Annual General Meeting 2022 – This Sunday!
Our AGM will be held on Sunday 27th February following the morning service, in accordance with the provisions of our 2021 Constitution.
What does the AGM do?
All Saints is a hybrid church – we are neither fully congregational nor fully episcopal.
In a congregational church, all authority under God rests with the congregation.
In the purest form of congregationalism, all decisions would be taken by vote of a congregational meeting. This would require almost weekly congregational meetings, and so decisions would be made by those who happened to be present that week. In a quickly changing congregation, like All Saints, this could be quite unstable.
In a completely episcopal church, like the Roman Catholic or Orthodox churches, all authority under God rests with the bishops, who delegate that authority to priests. The lay people do not have formal authority in the structure and authority is passed on in the Apostolic Succession. In an independent congregation, like All Saints, this would put all authority in the hands of one person and wouldn’t provide a system for accountability.
So All Saints’ constitution seeks to provide a system of checks and balances, taking the best features from each model.
Firstly, the congregation is the ultimate authority, under God, but delegates that authority by appointing a priest and electing members of the Church Council.
Each year, the congregation elects new members of the Church Council at its Annual General Meeting.
This year, one of our longest-serving members, Helga Spring, will be stepping down. Of the remaining three lay members, Chris Tananone has agreed to serve for one more year to aid transition to the newer council members, Hannah Alexander-Herrick has only served for a year, and Katie Wierenga was co-opted to complete the remainder of Bill Moeller’s term in September.
To ensure continuity, our Church Council consists of four lay seats elected by the congregation, and three clerical seats occupied by the clergy or, in the absence of three clerical staff, nominated by the vicar. Nominations are now closed and four people have been nominated for the four elected positions on the Church Council. They are:
Both Mark Crawford and I have been in leadership at All Saints for a number of years, and so, along with Chris, can provide that needed continuity and institutional memory – but we can be outvoted by the lay members. (Our deacon, Gene Bourquin, has temporarily set down as he explores possible ordination to the priesthood within The Episcopal Church.)
Article 2 of the All Saints constitution states:
“The ultimate authority of All Saints Chiang Mai is the word of God. The authority for the governance of the temporal affairs of the church (such as finance, property, and governance) rests with the congregation and is carried out by the Church Council. The authority for spiritual matters rests with the vicar. If there is a disagreement about whether an issue is spiritual or temporal, this will be determined by the Church Council.”
Our constitution seeks to balance leadership and accountability, and contains further checks and balances to this end. You can download and read the whole constitution here.
How can you be involved in the future of All Saints?
Firstly, attend the AGM this Sunday where you can elect members to the new Council.
Secondly, pray for your Church Council members, give them your support, and share your ideas and concerns with them.
And finally, pray for Mark and I as we lead All Saints forward, and carry spiritual responsibility for God’s people.
The AGM will not last very long. There will be a Vicar’s Report, and a Financial Report from Arthur Mann, our Treasurer. The congregation will then be asked to approve the budget for 2020 and elect the new Church Council.
Please be there and be involved if you can – it is your church!
Ash Wednesday – Next Week!
Those of you who were at church last Sunday will know that my car was hit by a motorcyclist last Friday night, following the choir practice at YCF. My car was parked and so I wasn’t involved in the actual accident.
Sadly the man died on Tuesday. Please hold his family in your prayers.
A few of the group!
Mum and I may be away on Monday and Tuesday next week so Chili Night may be cancelled. We will announce whether it will happen at the service on Sunday.
We have a weekly online prayer meeting. Join us at 9 a.m. on Zoom every Tuesday.
Weekly Offering to All Saints
You can still donate in person or online. Thank you for your support and love for All Saints and all we are trying to do together. God has shown that he is mighty and we are in his hands!